Hogmanay steak pie remains a favourite New Year tradition among Scots

Leading pie makers Bells say they are working 'round the clock' and expect to sell 200,000 steak pies ahead of New Year.

Hogmanay steak pie remains a New Year tradition among Scots, survey shows STV News

Scots are keeping festive traditions alive with four in five planning to enjoy steak pie as part of Hogmanay celebrations.

Three-quarters (75%) of Scots say steak pie is an important part of their Hogmanay and New Year’s Day traditions, with 83% of people across Scotland planning to tuck into the dish this year.

But the Make It Scotch survey of 1,000 Scots ignited a debate about when steak pie should be enjoyed and what to drink with it.

While traditionally eaten on New Year’s Day, the Make It Scotch survey has found a third (34%) prefer to eat it on Hogmanay to kick start the celebrations with friends and family (21%), as a meal before a big night out (7%) or enjoy it on their own (6%) before the bells.

Around two-thirds (66%) plan on keeping tradition and will enjoy their steak pie on the first day of the year. 

Ronnie Miles, managing director at Bells Food Group, says the company expects to make and sell around four million pies this month, with 200,000 being steak pies.

Managing director Ronnie Miles.

He told STV News: “We’ve got 200 staff working tremendously hard to feed Scotland at this time – a phenomenal amount of product.

“To me, a steak pie is a sharing pie for getting together with the family. On New Year’s Eve, it’s great to prepare for a night of festivities, drinking and dancing. Or you can have it as a hangover cure the following day.

“For us it’s a New Year’s Day celebration. It’s a fantastic meal and a tradition.”

Financial director Samantha Murray, a member of the Bell family, said she “lives and breathes steak pie”.

She said: “Since I can remember we had steak pie on New Year’s Day. Personally, now it’s a Hogmanay thing.

“I still struggle to get my head around the number of pies we make.

“We like a fun fact here at Bells; you could fill Murrayfield stadium and Hampden with our steak pies and still have some left over the SSE Hydro.”

While Scots are united in their love of the traditional steak pie, they are divided on the best drink to have it with.

Irn-Bru came out on top as the drink of choice to enjoy with a steak pie for nearly a quarter (22%) of Scots – rising to 41% of those in Stirling.

Around 200,000 steak pies are made by Bell’s in December.

Scots planning on eating steak pie to welcome in 2024 are as likely to wash it down with a dram of Scotch whisky (9.5%) as they are a glass of fizz from the continent – with one in ten Scots saying they prefer to enjoy the dish with a glass of champagne or prosecco (9.2%).

Samantha has a different recommendation.

“It’s braised beef, so it has to be red wine,” she said.

Gordon Newlands, manager of the Scotch Butchers Club, said: “With many of us reimagining how we celebrate the festive season, it’s heartening to see that some classic Scottish traditions haven’t been broken.

“For the majority of Scots, our research has shown steak pie is an important part of Hogmanay and New Year’s Day celebrations. 

“Enjoying some Scotch Beef steak pie can remind us of fond memories of feasting with friends and family and remains a great way to welcome in the new year, whether on our own or with those we love.

“Whether you’re buying a pie from your local butchers or you fancy trying to make it yourself from scratch, looking out for the Scotch logos and opting for Scotch Beef will ensure you’re plating up the best quality pie to welcome in 2024.”

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